Biden 'messaging' Putin in Poland speech — White House

Agence France-Presse
Biden 'messaging' Putin in Poland speech � White House
(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on December 06, 2021 shows US President Joe Biden during a signing ceremony at the White House in Washington, DC on November 18, 2021 and Russian President Vladimir Putin in a congress of the United Russia party in Moscow, on December 4, 2021. US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will hold a video call on December 7, 2021 to deal with military tensions over Ukraine.

WASHINGTON, United States — President Joe Biden will use a speech in Poland on Tuesday to send a message to Russia's Vladimir Putin that NATO will continue to support Ukraine's war effort for "as long as it takes," a spokesman said.

Biden is leaving Monday for Warsaw on a brief trip to mark the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of pro-Western Ukraine.

He will meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda and also members of the Bucharest Nine, a group of NATO members in eastern Europe. In addition, he will speak by phone with the leaders of Britain, France and Italy, the White House said.

The talks with Duda will cover "our bilateral cooperation, as well as our collective efforts to support Ukraine and to bolster NATO's deterrence," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters Friday.

Wednesday's meeting with leaders from the Bucharest Nine -- Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia -- will "reaffirm the United States' unwavering support for the security of that alliance."

The main public event will be Biden's speech, delivered from Warsaw's Royal Castle, on "how the United States has rallied the world to support the people of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and democracy," Kirby said.

"President Biden will make it clear that the United States will continue to stand with Ukraine... for as long as it takes."

"You'll hear messages in the president's speech that will certainly resonate with the American people, certainly will resonate with our allies and partners, without question resonate with the Polish people," Kirby said.

"And I would suspect that you'll hear him messaging Mr Putin as well, as well as the Russian people."

Kirby said Biden has no plans to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during the trip or to visit Ukraine -- which he has not gone to since the war started, due to the heavy security around US presidents.

The White House will not say what specific aid Biden might announce during his trip, but Kirby said that Ukraine will be reassured about receiving "continued, tangible support."

The United States has provided far more than any other NATO country to Ukraine, with military, economic, humanitarian and other aid during the war now worth more than $100 billion. That includes a $47 billion package approved by Congress in December and which Kirby said was in the early stages of being disbursed.

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